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Scepter of Savras

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The Scepter of Savras was an incredibly powerful artifact capable of containing the entire essence of a god. Created by the god Azuth and used to contain the deity of divination whose name it came to bear, it was lost for centuries in the Realms.

DescriptionEdit

Four feet (1.2 m) long and fashioned from a gray-hued length of duskwood, the Scepter bore nine star sapphires along its length. The base was capped by a one inch (2.5 cm) diameter diamond bearing the symbol of Savras, while the upper end bore a three inch (7.6 cm) diameter diamond (which legends claimed had 1,000 facets) carved with the symbol of Azuth.[1]

PowersEdit

While the Scepter could act as a +5 quarterstaff, its main function was to imprison any creature it struck. It was naturally intended to hold the essence of a god within the diamond perched atop it, and any deity held within it would be left unable to manifest in any capacity on Faerûn, with his or her worshipers blocked from receiving spells unless they were holding the Scepter; as a result, and thanks to Ao's decree after the Time of Troubles that the deities depended on their worshipers for power, such a deity would be in real danger of starvation if trapped for too long. If the deity existed in other worlds or spheres it would continue to do so there, with only Toril being blocked to it. Although any being could thus imprison a god, only the avatar of another deity or a being which contained some portion of divinity within it (like a Chosen, a Banelich, or a Bhaalspawn) could release it (by speaking its true and complete name three times while striking it into the earth). Non-divinities imprisoned in the Scepter would remain unaging, aware of the outside world but unable to communicate with anyone, until released; the longer such a creature was held, the more likely they would go completely mad. Thanks to some combination of the wild magic of the Time of Troubles and Savras's power within it, the Scepter was able to teleport at random and could not be located by any sort of magic.

Additionally, Savras's divine energies which had been absorbed into the Scepter through the centuries imbued it with various divinatory abilities.[note 1] By stating Savras's name and that of the spell desired, the wielder could cast any cleric or wizard spell from the sphere or school of divination, as well as those which blocked such magic. The diamond atop it could act as a crystal ball that allowed scrying without danger or limitation into any of the Inner or Outer Planes where one of the Faerûnian pantheon dwelled, as well as anywhere in the Realms, so long as it was not shielded by a deity. Any being viewed in the diamond could also have its mind read, although comprehension of the divine was not always enabled.

Thanks to the nature of the divine power within the Scepter, any time that a deity was held within it, the wielder was in increasing danger of becoming insane unless they were of the same alignment, worshiped that particular god, or (again) contained some portion of divinity within themselves. Since the deity would also still possess all of its abilities which didn't depend on a physical body, and would be constantly working to achieve its freedom, those who bore the Scepter did so at their peril.[2]

HistoryEdit

The Scepter dated to after the fall of Netheril and before the founding of Myth Drannor, when the turmoil of the Dawn Cataclysm resulted in warfare between the gods and the deaths of several deities. At that time there were two gods who had been elevated by Mystra from among the mortals to have rulership over spellwork—Azuth, who claimed dominion over all wizards and was in fact the first Magister, and Savras, who specialized in divination magic and was popular in the southern lands, particularly Tashalar. After a failed experiment to tear away a portion of the All Seeing's divinity and bind it to himself, Azuth and Savras battled for supremacy.[1][3]

Eventually the Lord of Spells was victorious and succeeded in imprisoning his rival in this artifact, which he had constructed for the purpose before the conflict began (although Savras's church claimed their deity had deliberately allowed his fall after divining the future)[4]. It had been Azuth's intention to carry the Scepter indefinitely as a staff of office, the power of which he could draw upon to augment his own. However, Savras retained just enough divine strength to teleport the Scepter away into the Realms, where his divinatory power was sufficient to block Azuth's.[1]

For centuries after this, the Scepter passed from one owner to another throughout Faerûn until eventually it fell into the possession of Syluné Silverhand. Although the spirit of Savras had desperately importuned the Chosen to release him, and had even granted her the ability to transform into a silver dragon to try and obtain her cooperation, she refused to trust him and instead carried the Scepter for many more years to aid her in her adventures. It was not until Azuth finally discovered its location, and Mystra intervened to keep the secrets her daughter had discovered through its powers from spreading across Faerûn, that Syluné finally turned the artifact over to the High One.[5][1]

By this time, Azuth had come to regret his actions toward Savras and what he had forced his erstwhile rival to endure. And so after considering the matter for some time, the troubled god finally agreed to release Savras after the Time of Troubles in return for an oath of fealty. The ultimate result was the two deities coming to an understanding, where uneasy service by the Lord of Divination gradually changed to a cautious friendship and a cordial working relationship. However, at the time of the demigod's release, the Scepter vanished again, taking with it the majority of Savras's power that it had absorbed.[1]

DestructionEdit

It was said that the Scepter could only be destroyed if it were used to imprison an avatar of Azuth himself. Alternatively, a hakeashar, nishruu, or magedoom could be substituted, and there were other sages who claimed all that was needed was for an avatar of Mystra to snap it between her fingers.[2][note 2]

Notable OwnersEdit

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Thanks to the death of Savras in 1385 DR in the backlash of Cyric's murder of Mystra, it is unknown how much of his power remains in the Scepter, or whether it could conceivably be used to resurrect him. Since the Scepter was surely in the Realms at the time, it is also unknown how much or what manner of wild magic it may have absorbed during the Spellplague, what this might have done to its specific powers and how they are activated, or how rapidly it can drive its bearer mad.
  2. With Azuth also among the dead powers, that means of destruction is obviously no longer available. Whether the reborn Mystra (Bury Elminster Deep and Elminster Enraged) is still capable of destroying the Scepter or how any wild magic it may have absorbed would affect her ability to do so is unknown.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 113. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 114. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  3. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  4. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 104. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  5. Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), p. 47. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.

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